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Master Recycler Composter Program

Program Contact: Cori Carlton, Master Gardener & Master Recycler Composter Program Manager
(360) 867-2162 •

Master Recycler Compost LogoThe Master Recycler Composters of Thurston County is a volunteer service program. Master Recycler Composter (MRC) volunteers are trained on how to reduce waste and increase public awareness of opportunities to prevent waste, recycle and compost in Thurston County.


Course graduates agree to give a minimum of 25 hours of yearly service as they put their new skills to use. They work with local organizations, community members, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, or at special events encouraging waste prevention, recycling and composting. MRC’s can design their own projects or work existing ones. On-going continuing education opportunities are provided.

Master Recycler Composter (MRC) Volunteer Training

The Master Recycler Composter volunteer program is made up of passionate people who love to:

  • Recycle or compost
  • Re-use or re-purpose items
  • Reduce food waste
  • Raise community awareness

MRC volunteers are trained on how to reduce waste and increase public awareness about reducing, recycling, and composting in Thurston County. Afterwards course graduates agree to give 25 hours of yearly service inspiring others to reduce waste at home and work.

Participants receive background and hands-on training over nine sessions from county and state educators.

Do you have a passion for recycling, composting, and waste prevention? If so, then add your name to the interest list!

The 2019  training class is currently in progress.

We only train once a year from September – November.

Applications and training information for the 2020 training course will be posted here after August 1, 2020. For more information or to be placed on the interest list (we’ll email you a reminder when training information becomes available) contact:

Cori Carlton, Program Coordinator at or 360-867-2162.


MRC Volunteer Yearly Service Commitments:

Master Recycler Composters will be asked to give a minimum of 25 service hours per year

  • 20 hours of “your choice” volunteer activities.
  • 5 hours of Continuing Education (CE) hours.

20 hours of service can be earned in one or more of numerous Master Recycler Composter program areas.

This could include:

  • Community outreach booth opportunities
  • Events
  • Workshops
  • Waste Less Food projects
  • Demonstration garden composting
  • Re-purposing projects
  • Special projects
  • Children’s programming
  • Individual interest projects

The 5 continuing education (CE) hours can be earned by: (only a sampling of potential activities)

  • Attend educational offerings sponsored by our program. Field trips to Silver Springs, Material Recycling Facilities, etc.
  • Attend other waste reduction related learning opportunities/festivals within the community and region.
  • Read current waste reduction books. (Recycling, composting, reducing your carbon footprint etc.)
  • Watch current waste reduction movies. (Check out movies from the Thurston County Solid Waste lending library.)

ACTIVE members will be asked to record all service hours volunteered on a monthly basis via an  on-line system.

ACTIVE members will be asked to complete and return a Master Recycler Composter Recommitment form on a yearly basis.

Every other year ACTIVE members will be subject to a Washington state background check.  This is done to protect the public in which we serve as well as the other Master Recycler Composter team members.